Gardening for the Health of It
The Health Benefits of Gardening
Steering Clear of Aches and Pains
Getting in Shape to Garden
- Squeeze a small, soft rubber ball until your hand tires and then relax. Repeat six times. Change hands. Then squeeze the ball between one finger and the thumb, repeating each six times. Shake out your hands after each session.
- Separate your fingers in a stretch for eight seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
- Stretch your arms in front at shoulder level, palms down, and flex the hands upward, feeling the stretch under your arms. Hold for six counts. Drop the hands from the wrists and hold for another six counts. Repeat six times.
- Build the quadriceps—which help support your knees—by standing near a wall or holding onto a support for balance. Your supporting leg should be relaxed with the foot pointed ahead. Bend the other knee so the lower leg is almost at a right angle to its own thigh. Then, slowly straighten the leg by extending the lower leg without lowering the knee. Raise the leg upward six times, then bend it back to the original position. Repeat the sequence four times and then do the same exercise with your other leg.
- Before heading out to the garden in the morning, Pearlman recommends warming up and stretching your knees. One exercise can be done on your bed. Lie on your back, holding one knee to your chest with clasped hands and with the other leg hanging slightly over the bed to stretch for at least 30 seconds. Then change legs.
Gardening Resources http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/
National Gardening Association http://www.garden.org/
Gardening Life http://www.gardeninglife.ca/
Wild About Gardening http://www.wildaboutgardening.org/
Pearlman B. Gardener's Fitness: Weeding Out the Aches and Pains. Dallas, TX: Taylor; 1999.
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